Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Top 10 nature moments of 2007

Tai Haku at Earth, Wind and Water has started a splendid new meme on bloggers' top 10 nature moments of the past year. It wasn't been a brilliant nature year for me (especially compared with those of some others on that list) but it did yield a few singular moments. Here's my 10 in no particular order.

  1. I travelled to Far North Queensland in the middle of the year to do field work with a friend from the Netherlands.We spotted a young cassowary in the rainforest at Tarzali. The same day we also saw a platypus on Lake Barrine. Not a bad haul.
  2. In the drier country to the west we saw bustards. They were just where I'd seen them fifteen years before. Although I suspect these might not have been the same individuals.
  3. We saw a few other birds. Here's the list for that trip. Not bad. I was thrilled with the beach stone curlews, which were mooching along the beaches at Cairns and Cardwell.
  4. It wasn't all bird watching. We collected lime-lovin' microsnails at Chillagoe — Gyliotrachela australis and Pleuropoma extincta.
  5. Nor was it all snail watching. The dry season brought out drifts of the parasitic plant Balanophora fungosa on the rainforest floor.
  6. Nature was pretty lively at home too. I wandered outside one evening and encountered mating leopard slugs Limax maximus in the back garden. If only I hadn't used newspaper as mulch … (This was also one of Aydin's top moments. Watching slugs, that is. Not using newspaper as mulch. I'm looking forward to his pictures.)
  7. My semi-regular perambulation along the Williamstown waterfront yielded a few interesting sights. The best of them was this darter or snake bird, drying its wings on the jetty.
  8. A pink-eared duck on the campus pond. They're not all that rare but that was the first one I've seen. It was probably the first one ever on that pond.
  9. On a rain-soaked jaunt to Portland, I saw the colony of Australasian gannets and their canine guards.
  10. And then there was this celestial moment — the glorious Comet McNaught
And 2008 is going to be bigger and better!

3 comments:

AYDIN Ă–RSTAN said...

I would love to see a platypus one day.

Snail said...

There are a few locations in eastern Australia where they are ridiculously easy to spot. In Feb, I'm going to try to get up to Eungella in mid-east Queensland, which not only has interesting snails but also has platypuses in abundance.

sarala said...

I like your top ten list. I doubt mine would be half as good.
Happy New Year.